Redevelopment Pushes Out Small Merchants

The Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town continues to voice our concern that the Town’s redevelopment policies are causing us to lose our treasured small merchants. When the Town rezones land to allow more density it increases the underlying tax value of the land.  The owners pass the increased taxes on to their tenants.  For example, immediately after the Town’s approval of the Ephesus Fordham district, rents were raised and merchants started leaving.  Here are the changes we’ve recorded so far.

Eastgate BP                     closing

The Swell Doll Shop      closed

Hair for You                    closed

Eastgate Hair Styling    closed

Butternut Squash          closed

Yarns, Etc.**                  forced to move

Eastgate Barber             forced to move

Oriental Taylor              forced to move

Womancraft                   forced to move

Cameron’s*                     forced to move

Deep Dish Theater*      forced to move due to rising rents

Plaza Dry Cleaners        forced to lay off employees – new owner is outsourcing

Childrens’ Store              from U Mall to Village Plaza near Red Lotus

* Note: The town did not recently rezone University Mall which is not part of the Ephesus Fordham District.  However, town staff at the direction of the Council has worked with the mall owners to redefine areas within the property previously affected by the town’s Resource Conservation District, thus opening up this low lying flood plain to redevelopment.

** Candidate David Schwartz helped owner find a new space

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